Anxiety – An Ever-Present Companion

Since the beginning of the decade, the number of people suffering from anxiety in the UK has skyrocketed, reaching such proportions that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that anxiety has become a constant companion in most people’s lives.

According to a recent survey conducted for the Mental Health Foundation, almost three-quarters of the UK population suffered from anxiety in the previous two weeks, while one in five felt chronic and constant anxiety. Around a quarter of the respondents even admitted that their anxiety was so severe, it prevented them from doing what they wanted or needed to do.[1]

These disturbing findings show that anxiety has become a huge problem for a large part of the population and highlights the fact that the events of the last three-and-half-years haven’t been without impact. Starting with the announcement of a global pandemic in 2020, people have been subjected to a melange of feelings, ranging from fear and frustration to spiralling stress and even anger. This was especially the case during the lockdowns, which were an experience no-one had been through before. Added to the disruption caused by such draconian measures was the fact that people often had to keep their feelings of anxiety a secret due to the stigma and shame associated with the condition. Even though there has been substantial progress in how mental health is viewed and discussed in this country, significant numbers of people are still not comfortable talking about their experience of anxiety.

Since the end of the pandemic, Britons have had to deal with a new set of challenges that have been causing them extreme stress. The sharp increase in the cost of living, declining living standards, the increase in mortgage costs and the looming recession have all conspired to make 2023 a year of exceptional anxiety for most. Against this backdrop, it is more important than ever that people acquire the means to address the inevitable stress deriving from such a difficult economic picture and learn how to overcome anxiety.

In my practice, I have seen numerous clients who due to increasing levels of anxiety have developed unhealthy or unproductive habits. Whilst it is understandable why people turn to such habits when trying to deal with stress, it is essential to work at the subconscious level on ceasing or minimising these practices and re-adopting daily habits that enhance our wellbeing rather than undermine it. Hypnotherapy is a proven method for redirecting the subconscious mind away from behaviour that adds a new layer of problems to our already-stressful lives and towards practices that steer us in the direction of healthier and happier lives. 

Unfortunately, the overall economic picture is not expected to improve any time soon, and the underlying causes of anxiety are likely to remain with us for a long time. However, developing chronic or debilitating anxiety as a result of these factors is not inevitable, and the tools for ensuring a successful mental approach to dealing with them exist. The secret is not in hiding away from society or dulling the pain through self-destructive behaviour but being mindful of what the mind is fed, as it is always listening and believes in everything that it is fed. It’s important to feed it with hope, truth, and love, thus creating the necessary mental pictures and strategies that can nullify the effects of anxiety and allow us to lead the most productive and fulfilling lives possible. 

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